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Station usage on the increase as New Street moves into UK top 10

By Thom Kennedy | Transport | Published:

Railway stations across the West Midlands have seen user numbers increase over the last 12 months – although the number of people coming and going from some Wolverhampton has fallen.

There was a pattern of increased usage among the region’s stations, with Birmingham New Street among the stops to see the largest rises in people coming and going, with an extra three million users in 2018-19 compared to the year before.

However, Wolverhampton saw a fall in user numbers of about 55,000.

Nationally, Denton in Greater Manchester shared the title of the least-used stations in the country with Stanlow and Thornton, near Ellesmere Port in Cheshire. Both had a total of just 46 passengers last year.

Several stations are kept open despite being rarely used because it is easier to arrange for a train to stop infrequently than obtain permission for closure.

In the Midlands, Broome Railway Station on the Heart of Wales line in Shropshire saw the least passengers getting on and off trains – only 1,118 people used its single platform last year. Its closest challenger was Hopton Heath, one stop along the same line.

London Waterloo was confirmed as Britain’s busiest station for the 16th consecutive year.

Some 94.2 million passengers used the station in 2018/19.

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Birmingham New Street was the only station outside London ranked in the top 10 busiest. It overtook Euston to take fifth place with 47.9 million entries and exits.

The busiest station in Wales was Cardiff Central with 14.2 million users.

The estimates are largely based on ticket sales.

Last year’s least used station, North Yorkshire’s British Steel Redcar, saw its annual number of entries and exits increase from 40 to 360.

The ORR said the rise for the Redcar station may be due to it attracting visitors keen to see the least used station in the 2017/18 rankings.

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